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Learn about receiving your child support payments

If you’re receiving child support, you may have questions about how you receive payments. This page answers some common questions for parents who receive child support.

Receiving child support payments

If the other parent is paying current child support, child support payments will be directed to you. If you receive assistance from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), payments will be directed to you after DTA closes your case. The "official" closing date of your public assistance case is about 2 weeks after you receive your last TAFDC payment.

We will send you an Electronic Payment Application form so you can choose to receive support payments through direct deposit into your checking or savings account or on the Massachusetts Debit Card (a MasterCard®-branded debit card). We don’t send checks by mail (except on a very limited basis if certain hardship exemptions apply).

It takes approximately 3 weeks to set up direct deposit. We must confirm the information you provide with your bank and we must check with the bank to make sure that electronically transferring funds works correctly. Once we have tested and verified that everything works correctly, the next child support payment is made by direct deposit. To receive child support payments faster, you can sign up online for direct deposit.

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Employer not deducting child support payments from noncustodial parent’s wages

Employers are legally required to comply with income withholding orders.

Please notify us if the court ordered child support to be paid by income withholding, but the noncustodial parent's employer is failing to withhold and/or remit payments. We’ll contact the employer and enforce the order.

Paying parent is receiving unemployment benefits

If the court ordered child support to be paid by income withholding, but the other parent is unemployed and is receiving unemployment benefits from the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA), we will still be able to receive payments by income withholding. We get information on parents who receive unemployment benefits from DUA. If the other parent is receiving benefits, the child support payments will be deducted and sent to us. (There may be a 1-2 week delay.)

The other parent may not be getting enough in unemployment benefits to allow the whole child support payment to be deducted. However, even if the whole amount is not deducted, the parent is still responsible for paying the balance due.